Modeling of Rail Track Substructure and Rail Vehicle Energy Dissipation

UIC Project Information

NuRail Project IDNURail2012-UIC-R01
Project TitleModeling of Rail Track Substructure and Rail Vehicle Energy Dissipation
UniversityUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
Project ManagerShabana
Principal InvestigatorFoster
PI Contact InformationPhone: (312)996-8086 Email:
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization)$97,848 UIC in-kind; $97,848 USDOT RITA
Total Project Cost$195,696
Agency ID or Contract NumberDTRT12-G-UTC18 (Grant 1)
Start Date2012-05-01
End Date2014-01-31
Brief Description of Research ProjectComprehensive modeling project with four thrusts: (1) Coupling ballast and subsoil models to multibody rail codes. There are three main steps: (1a) Couple a nonlinear finite element code to an existing multibody dynamics code for rail. (1b) Adapt a viscoplasticity model for soil and rocks to rail ballast and implement this in the finite element code. Derive parameters for this model from test data and discrete element (DEM) simulations from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) (E. Tutumluer). (1c) Study absorbing boundary conditions and integrate them into the code. (2) Effects of high speed rail on track substructure (with UIUC). Use models developed above to evaluate both the short-term and long-term effects of high-speed rail on substructures. Important topics include: (2a) Long-term differential settlement of ballast around perturbations; (2b) Dynamic effects of changing stiffness of bridge approaches and other substructural changes; (2c) Possible effects of ground vibration on nearby structures. (3) Modeling concrete cross ties for dynamic track simulation (with UIUC). Concrete cross ties and slab track have been the favored substructures for high speed rail. The project will develop models for concrete cross tie systems to facilitate development. The project will first examine the preliminary models for cross ties and fasteners and the relevant issues then work to develop more sophisticated and realistic designs. (4) Energy absorption in vehicle designs for high speed rail. In collaboration with A. Shabana at the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC), develop a simple, computationally efficient model for energy dissipation elements in rail simulations along with an implementation for existing rail codes. The model will likely take the form a one-dimensional rigid-plastic or elastic-plastic element. The model will then be calibrated to simulate energy absorption in crashworthiness needed to develop efficient high-speed trains.
Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented)
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated)
Web Links
Project Website
Final ReportNURail2012-UIC-R01-combined1.pdf